The Sixth Day of Paul Manafort's Trial Was Indirectly About Donald Trump


Day seven of the Paul Manafort trial took a technical turn Wednesday, an indication that prosecutors could be wrapping up their case against the former Trump campaign chairman.

The judge overseeing Paul Manafort's trial, who has berated prosecutors daily for perceived missteps and slights, told the jury Thursday to ignore one of his outbursts, saying he was "probably wrong".

IRS agent Michael Welch said the total includes foreign wire transfers to USA vendors like landscapers and clothiers, wire transfers to buy property, and income reclassified as loans.

Rick Gates said that he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.

"Judge Ellis seems to want the lawyers to try the case the way he would try the case", said Gillers.

Prosecutor Greg Andres asked Gates Thursday whether Mueller's team had told him how to answer questions.

But in reality, Manafort rented out the Howard Street loft on Airbnb for more than a year - as an "Amazing full floor loft in SoHo" - and still had a mortgage on the Brooklyn brownstone, James said. On some accounts, the beneficial owners were listed as either Manafort, Gates or his Ukrainian translator Konstantin Kilimnik, she said.

Downing pressed again on whether that secret life covered those four years, Gates said it did.

Another witness, Citizens Bank Vice President Peggy Miceli, said Manafort would not have gotten the $3.4 million loan if the bank had known it was a rental property.

On Thursday, a series of bank employees told jurors about discrepancies and outright falsehoods contained on Manafort's applications for millions of dollars in loans.

The still-secret conversation occurred Tuesday afternoon in the middle of Gates' testimony against Manafort, who served as Trump's campaign chairman in 2016. He testified that Mr. Manafort directed him not to report the existence of offshore bank accounts that prosecutors allege were used to hide millions of.

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In a final back and forth between lawyers over Gates's credibility, the focus turned to his decision to plead guilty and cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which Manafort's defence have portrayed as an attempt to save his own skin.

"The Ukrainians", Gates said, adding a layer to his statement Tuesday that he had stolen "Mr. Manafort's money".

It's unclear how he has aided the special counsel's probe beyond the Manafort case, but Gates was a deputy to Manafort on the Trump campaign and worked on the transition and presidential inauguration.

In several instances, Manafort signed documents to open accounts, and a copy of his passport was found in the files, she said.

Ellis even took aim at journalists, threatening on Monday to kick reporters out of the courtroom if they continue being "disruptive".

Defence lawyers saw an opening to undermine his testimony by painting him as liar and a philanderer, getting him to admit to an extramarital affair and reminding jurors how he had lied to special counsel Robert Mueller's team while working out a plea deal for himself.

The firm's director was known to Manafort and Gates as "Doctor K".

Gates testified that he engaged in an extensive criminal conspiracy with Manafort that lasted seven years and included lying to the Internal Revenue Service to avoid paying taxes and providing false documents to banks to obtains millions of dollars in loans. Then he suggested that Gates had not been honest. But Gates' testimony also revealed he was a deeply disreputable co-conspirator as Manafort's underling.

FBI forensic accountant Morgan Magionos walked jurors through her special counsel-ordained investigation that revealed how Manafort purchased luxury goods back in the US through foreign bank accounts. But she said the dressing downs are shaping how the jury views the prosecutors and, by extension, their case.

So far, the trial has in large part steered clear of direct allegations about the Trump campaign.